H.R.H. The Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit have completed their itinerary of formally marking the centenary anniversary of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania’s Declarations of Independence.
The 3 Baltic states declared independence in 1918, but fell under Nazi occupation throughout World War II. Upon war’s end, all 3 nations were assimilated with the Soviet Union until year 1991.
With an entourage of business leaders striving to promote stronger commercial ties, Estonia was the last of the three countries to receive royal visit.
The Crown Prince and Princess were first welcomed by Estonia’s President Kersti Kaljulaid outside Palace Kadriorg,Following welcome, the royals had formal discussion with President Kaljulaid as the Norwegian & Estonian delegations formally discoursed within chamber.
The first day of visit to Estonia concluded with state dinner at Kadriorg Museum of Art, where Crown Prince Haakon gave speech; illuminating both freedom and the shared experiences Norway & Estonia suffered under occupation during World War II.
The Crown Prince gave at speech: “Norwegians of my generation have heard the stories of the occupation in our country from our parents and grandparents.
But you know first-hand, from your own experience, what it means to not be free.
And because of that, you know the true value of freedom.”
In a further speech given by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince at a seminar in Tallinn, said (part quote); ‘I am told that Estonians and Norwegians find it easy to establish contact, even though our languages are very different. Both Estonians & Norwegians tend to concentrate on the task at hand and to look for practical solutions whenever faced with a challenge.’ –
‘Both our countries have a no-nonsense, down-to-earth business culture. This gives us an excellent platform for building new partnerships benefiting both businesses and the peoples of both countries.” –
The Crown Prince and Princess also gave attendance to the ‘Estonian Norwegian Partnership for Digital Transformation’ seminar.
After the digital seminar, the Heir apparent gave comment, saying; “The digitization in Estonia is impressive. Here, they’ve applied technology within government administration to unique applications compared to most other countries. One can,among other things, voice digitally and make most transactions digitally, so it’s quite impressive.”
The Crown Prince and Princess then had pleasure to travel to Telliskivi Creative City and there meet representatives from voluntary organizations receiving EEA funds.
The royal couple then further enjoyed Estonia’s treasures with tour of the historic ‘Old Town of Tallinn’, a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site before leaving the Baltic nations and returning safely back to Norway.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today